I audited theknot.com as part of an SEO manager interview. The following points are my own observation so you may or may not find these points useful.
1. Optimize Speed
There are rooms to optimize speed both on desktop and mobile. It is difficult because there are different internet connections and devices with different software and hardware settings. On July 9, 2018 Google said, page speed is a ranking factor both for desktop and mobile searches. So we must dedicate resources to improve speed.
Here are some suggestions to improve speed
Resource Hints help the browser find the resources it will need,
Here is The Guardian, a British daily newspaper is using resource hints to optimize its speed.
CSS is key to performance and critical to rendering a page. By default, CSS is treated as a render blocking resource. According to my audit, there are rooms to optimize CSS.
Any CSS not needed to render the current view is effectively lazyloaded by the browser. We should take advantage of this feature by splitting the current CSS file into individual media queries. Please see the screenshot below for better understanding. Also, if possible we should move the CSS files to the main origin.
Third party scripts are always expensive. This specific page theknot.com/marketplace is using around 50 third party scripts. We should talk to dev team to understand the importance of those scripts and if possible remove the unnecessary ones.
We should embed script directly via a tag or at least adding a preload tag. Please see the screenshot to understand better.
Here is NPR better prepared with their text version of the site https://text.npr.org/. Chrome is suggesting to use the APIs like navigator.connection.saveData and navigator.connection.effectiveType to tap into users device settings and provide webpages based on that.
2. Optimize User Interface
We should offer an option like save your search without login
We could also offer features like browsing story
Features like checking venue availability date, an option to text and email share the venue, signup using google credential API, helpful and critical review comparison table, more options to filter search and a clean UI would attract and engage more users than the competitors like weddingwire.com
3. Optimize Google Search Index
Duplicate contents and faceted navigation issues need to be addressed.
SEO is sort of associated with everything we do on a website. Hopefully, the team at theknot.com would find some of these points useful to optimize their site for the search engines.
Lastly, here are a couple of the folks who are skilled at web performance optimization you may wanna follow them on Twitter.
Tim Kadlec: https://twitter.com/tkadlec
Patrick Meenan: https://twitter.com/patmeenan
Addy Osmani: https://twitter.com/addyosmani
Ryan Townsend: https://twitter.com/RyanTownsend
Katie Hempenius: https://twitter.com/katiehempenius
Harry Roberts: https://twitter.com/csswizardry
Henri Helvetica: https://twitter.com/HenriHelvetica
Andy Davies: https://twitter.com/AndyDavies
Lina Hansson: https://twitter.com/LinaCHansson
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